Seeing the subject at hand is amber lighting: I've had some success in turning my Ultrafire 501B drop-in torch ( with XM-L 5 mode drop-in ) into a decent amber flasher. What I did was cut the bottom out of a amber prescription bottle and use it as a lens. It fits perfectly over the front of the torch and fits like a glove. To be on the safe side I use some clear tape to make sure it doesn't pop off.
As with all things bike related mounting is the real problem. Since I intended to mount this so it was rear facing there was really only one choice; under the seat. Took a couple tries to get it right but using a long piece of velcro and some soft foam I finally nailed it and it sits nicely along one of the seat rails. I set the output to SOS and it works really well. I figure the output is likely around 500 lumen after optic losses. I can also turn it on/off while riding which is also cool.
I also figured out I could convert my old Bikeray III to an amber flasher by doing the same thing. The Bikeray III is awesome when amber! Still I'll probably just continue using the 501B as the torch is more compact and lighter. Not to mention I'm almost afraid to take the torch off the seat because it was dang hard to get that sucker dialed in.
Last edited by 01 CAt Man Do; 12-13-12 at 08:05 AM.
Drove across the city with just the two ambers up front and twin Serfas TL 200s in back to show up at a dinner party. Since there are streetlights the whole way - using these 3watt ambers as running lights really didn't bother me.
So one of the relatives at the dinner remarked on the lights on the bike in the garage - said they looked like pretty bright lights. When I mentioned that they were a little deceptive and were actually amber and not white and they were only running lights - his chin hit the floor.
Quote: "So that was YOU I passed on the way over to pick up the kids! I couldn't figure out what it was but could see you coming from a mile away!"
Asked if the lights bothered him at all (they have a cutoff) and he said not a bit - they were just very very visible. Cool!
I saw this thread yesterday, and I have Amber , LED , marker lights, but then I realized I didn't have any photographs. So last night, just after sunset, I shot these pictures:
I have a Coroplast Fairing, with bottle cages on each side, but it is rigged to double as a handlebar basket. You can see the stainless steel Eco-Canteen.
The Amber LED Markers are visible from the front, as shown in this picture.
Just below the Amber Markers, there are some cheap LED Flashlights. Mounted to the Coroplast with tie-wire. I hardly ever use these lights anymore.
As for the "Flasher", the LED's do NOT use enough current to make a typical automotive flasher blink. I went to the local auto parts store, and bought a Flasher, but it did Not blink... it was a "heavy duty" flasher , it turned out. I returned that item, after finding the right flasher online. I asked the clerk to order it, but when he said "it's gonna cost $60.00", I said "ouch!" and cancelled the order.
My commute used to be a 11-mile morning twilight/sunrise eastbound journey. Hard to see a bike when you're looking into the low/rising sun. I have a US Coast Guard-approved life vest xenon strobe with an amber lens zip-tied to my rear rack, facing rearward. Flashes around 60 times/minute. Visible for three miles. One D-cell (rechargeable) battery lasts for over 30 hours of use before recharging. Yeah, it looks kinda dorky, but cars DO see me!
But another thing is, I mounted these amber lights as high as possible. I want them to be visible over the hoods of cars.
These are supposed to be 3W lights in front and 1W lights in back. In the winter, if there isn't any other light around - they actually put out enough light to drive with when conditions are good.
Initially I was interested in coupling these up to a flasher, but at this point don't believe it would add anything. As 'be seen' running lights they're outstanding day or night.
Last edited by Burton; 01-12-13 at 08:52 AM.
So after running these all winter think I'm going to use them an daytime running lights during the summer too. The 'be seen' visibility is excellent and run time is outstanding. Have run a pair for 10 hours straight and 250 kms without recharging and calculate several more hours in reserve on a 6.6 Ah RC Lipo battery, which makes them practical for all day outings or touring where there's power available for a recharge, which takes a couple hours.